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How to Reduce Muscle Soreness After an SUP Workout

June 5, 2023
Paddle Boarder with Dog on Atoll Boards iSUP

Hello again, friends! In our last blog post, we told you all about our five reasons why SUP-ing is better than going to the gym. Of course, we were very happy to hear all of your positive responses, results, etc. After all, that’s why we’re here – to help the SUP community in any way we can. That said, today we’d like to talk about how to reduce muscle soreness after an SUP workout. As always, our team at Atoll Boards has everything you need to know, so keep on reading below!

Read more: Best Summer Vacation Spots for Paddle Boarding in 2023


Whether you’ve been paddling for several years or just a couple days, you probably know the importance of staying hydrated. What you may not know, however, is the fact that you should drink at least two cups of water within 10 or 15 minutes of finishing your paddling session. Or, if regular water isn’t your thing, then an electrolyte solution like Gatorade will do the job, too. Even if you don’t feel especially thirsty or exhausted, your body will thank you for it.

Post-Workout Snack

In a perfect world, when you have a post-workout snack, the nutritional contents will be something along the lines of a four-to-one ratio of carbohydrates to protein. For this, some of our favorite snacks include a bagel with peanut butter and banana slices, yogurt and granola, and even chocolate milk! Of course, this is just a snack; we’ll get into meal planning shortly. But, before that, we have to talk about the elephant in the room: stretching.


Yes, we know, this one is incredibly obvious, but you would be amazed by how many people shrug it off and say ‘Ah, I’ll be fine.’ Well, even if they don’t wake up in pain, they will definitely notice some rigidity, tightness, soreness, and probably some leftover fatigue as well. So, we know you’ve heard it hundreds of times, but please don’t overlook the importance of stretching. After all, we want your SUP experiences to be as good and positive as possible. 

As for how to stretch, we focus on the major muscle groups that you use while SUP-ing: quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips. You can also use a foam roller to alleviate any knots, tight spots, etc. In any case, your stretching session should last for about 10 to 15 minutes, and we recommend doing it within 30 minutes of finishing your paddle.

Silhouetted Paddle Boarder Holding Paddle On Top of SUP

Ice Bath

If you’re really, really sore and need some heavy-duty help, consider an ice bath. Now, we know this is a hard sell for many people, as no one wants to get into a tub full of ice-cold water, but, if you’re willing to give it a shot, you can get some incredible results and spare yourself a lot of aches and pain the next day. First, fill your tub with cold water and add ice until the temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the water with how long it takes for an ice cube to melt. At 60 degrees Fahrenheit, a normal-sized ice cube will melt in about three to five minutes. 

Then, when the water is ready, lower yourself into the tub until your hips and lower back are completely submerged. Now, the real test will be surviving the first three minutes, as this is simply the coldest and most difficult part of an ice bath. For this, we recommend biting a towel and thinking about your dreams, goals, or any other happy thoughts that will distract you from the frigid temperatures. After those first three minutes, the water will feel a little more comfortable, your body will relax a bit, and you’ll be on your way to relieving all that muscle tension, soreness, etc. For best results, we recommend staying in the ice bath for about 10 to 15 minutes total. Then, when you’re ready, you can proceed to a shower. Yes, your legs will probably feel cold for a few hours, but your body will thank you for it in the morning.

Silhouetted Man Sitting on Atoll Paddle Board at Sunset

Rest and Relaxation

Additionally, don’t forget to squeeze in some extra rest and relaxation, if possible. Whether it’s booking a massage, taking a short nap, or even just putting your feet up, it’s always important to hit pause and give your body a break, especially after a workout. 

Healthy Meal

This next one is pretty intuitive. If you want to restore your body, you need to refuel it properly. For this, any good combination of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins should do the trick. Personally, we like to have pasta, a salad, a sandwich, or maybe even some leftovers from yesterday, depending on what’s in the fridge. Or, if you’re feeling more like breakfast food, try some egg whites with whole grain toast, oatmeal with fruit, or maybe even pancakes with some healthy sides or toppings. In any case, as long as you treat your body well, it will always return the favor. 

Hot Bath with Epsom Salts

Last but not least, before bedtime, consider taking a warm or hot bath with epsom salts. Simply fill up the tub with water at your preferred temperature, combine four cups of epsom salt with one cup of baking soda, add it to the water in the tub, stir it up, get in the tub, and stay there for about 10 or 15 minutes. After this, you should have an excellent sleep; and, best of all, you should wake up refreshed, recharged, and ready for your next paddle. 

Read more: Self-Care Practices for After a Paddle Boarding Session

Contact Our Team at Atoll Boards

Now that you know how to reduce muscle soreness after an SUP workout, what’s next on your to-do list? Want to learn more about SUP-ing like the professionals? Check out our blog! We have dozens of in-depth articles that are full of expert-level insights, recommendations, tips and tricks, and so much more. Or, if you’re in need of a new SUP, consider exploring our signature Atoll Boards. Made from machine-laminated dual layer PVC, our inflatable stand-up paddle boards are some of the most lightweight, durable, and versatile models on the market today. For more information about our SUPs or anything else, please feel free to contact our team at Atoll Boards today. To get in touch, you can click here, call us at 877-698-8581, or send us an email at In any case, we hope to hear from you soon. Until then!

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